Buckle up: Amazon wages legal war vs. counterfeits and PR battle vs. vestiges of Trump administration

An exhibit in one of Amazon’s suits shows counterfeit belts and packaging, at left, and genuine Ferragomo versions at right.

Amazon and luxury retailer Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. filed two lawsuits Thursday in federal court in Seattle against four people and two entities that the companies allege sold knock-off Ferragamo belts via Amazon’s online marketplace, in violation of Amazon’s policies and federal intellectual property law.

Prior cases: It’s the latest in a series of legal actions taken by Amazon against counterfeiters in partnership with third-party sellers and brands.

  • Earlier this week, Amazon filed four lawsuits on behalf of another seller, Dutch Blitz Acquisition Corporation, a family-owned card-game maker.
  • The company has filed past suits in conjunction with brands including Valentino, cosmetics brand KF Beauty, family travel accessory brand JL Childress, and drinkware and accessory maker YETI.
  • “We do not allow counterfeit products in our store, and we have made it crystal clear that we take aggressive action to hold accountable bad actors who attempt to evade our proactive protections,” said Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s VP for customer trust and partner support, announcing the latest suits.

‘Notorious Markets’ dispute: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative singled out several of Amazon’s international e-commerce marketplaces as “notorious markets” for counterfeits last month. Amazon was having none of it.

  • The report was issued on Jan. 14, in the final days of the Trump administration. It cited unnamed brand rights holders calling on Amazon to “commit the resources necessary to make the brand protection programs scalable, transparent, and most importantly, effective.”
  •  “Including Amazon in this report is the continuation of a personal vendetta against Amazon, and nothing more than a desperate stunt in the final days of this administration. Amazon does more to fight counterfeit than any other private entity we are aware of,” the company said at the time.

Background: The lawsuits reflect a broader crackdown by Amazon on counterfeits using a combination of investigators, AI, product registration and authentication.

Read Amazon’s joint lawsuits with Ferragamo here and here.

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